Budget smartphones have a better chance

The release of the iPhone 4S instead of the iPhone 5 may give chances to competitors – smartphones based on Windows Phone and Android from Microsoft, HTC, Samsung Electronics and Nokia, which will increase their market shares due to more innovative devices.

Unlike the iPhone 4S, competitors’ smartphones support LTE, NFC and 3D technologies, have larger screens and a lower price. Despite the fact that Apple now offers the “lightest” iPhone 4 with 8 GB of memory, and the price of the iPhone 3GS is reduced, such tactics, according to analysts, are unlikely to bring much revenue: fans of “apple” products prefer to buy new models, and people who focus on cost will prefer cheaper and more functional smartphones.

“Apple is releasing smartphones in the premium class, not caring about the lower-price phone market,” said Francis Saideko, chief wireless communications analyst at IHS iSuppli. As a result, the company misses opportunities to gain a foothold in the mobile market.

Analysts’ forecast for iPhone shipments in 2011 looks quite optimistic – 83.6 million units, while the volume of deliveries of inexpensive smartphones will be 53.9 million units. But in 2015, the number of the latter will exceed 422 million, and the release of the iPhone will grow to only 169 million devices.

As for the tablet market, there are rumors that Apple plans to lower the price of the iPad. According to the Bloomberg information portal, in the fourth quarter Apple cut iPad shipments from its foreign manufacturers by 25%. Suppliers claim that they only found out about it in mid-September, and the reduction on such a scale occurred for the first time. Initially, Apple planned to order 17 million devices for the last quarter of 2011, but now this figure may decrease to 13 million. Presumably, the reduction in the order is due to the weakening of positions in Europe.

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